February 26th, 2009

amd: Parisian Primate

Mamma Mia

K. and I watched Mamma Mia last night. As you likely know, it's the story of a young girl who invites the three men who might be her father to her wedding and it's set to the music of Abba. I'm not the biggest Abba fan, but I was surprised to see "Waterloo" shuffled off to the end credits and "Fernando" merely hummed. Still, "Dancing Queen" was done as the big number it should be and I was quite pleased to discover the dangerously catchy "Honey Honey," which I was previously unfamiliar with.

As jukebox musicals go, I thought the old songs held together pretty decently, although the song about wanting lots of money that introduced the bride's mother (Meryll Streep) seemed pretty far out of character even played as a joke. No one in the film really sings all that well except for the bride herself, played by Amanda Seyfried (Mean Girls and Veronica Mars). Everyone else gave karaoke-style renditions that more or less succeeded out of sheer enthusiasm and the innate energy of the songs. Even Christine Baranski, who I've heard sing before, sounded a bit off, but perhaps she was just holding back to match her co-stars. One of the biggest kicks for me was seeing Stellan Skarsgård, on furlough from Lars Von Trier tragedies, in something so cheerful and fluffy.

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